Is Brass And Nickle Plated Gear A Big No No

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garyhead.design

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Some of you might think this is a stupid question, but the only stupid question is the one you don't know the answer to and don't ask...

So on that note, whats the deal with Brass and Nickle Plated fittings.

From what I can tell everyone uses Stainless Steel, which yes is great, but also pricey

Brass and Nickle Plated stuff is so much cheaper, so what are the implication or using this cheaper metal for building brew gear?

Cheers
 

manticle

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I have brass taps on my mash tun and HLT. I have some zinc washers - main issue with them is corrosion. Brass is fine though.

Some people are concerned about the tiny amount of lead in brass but a quick soak in vinegar should put your mind at ease.
 

JDW81

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Some of you might think this is a stupid question, but the only stupid question is the one you don't know the answer to and don't ask...

So on that note, whats the deal with Brass and Nickle Plated fittings.

From what I can tell everyone uses Stainless Steel, which yes is great, but also pricey

Brass and Nickle Plated stuff is so much cheaper, so what are the implication or using this cheaper metal for building brew gear?

Cheers


Check out Kegking.com.au. their stainless fittings are really cheap. Craftebrewer.com.au also have a good range of stainless fittings. I've got stuff from both and have been really happy with them.

JD
 

bignath

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i wouldn't be so sure that everyone uses stainless.

i bet you get a lot of responses saying that they use brass without problems. I'm one of those brewers. I would like stainless everything, but went with brass when i set up my brew rig as i hadn't used a brew rig or gone all grain before and was a big leap of faith to see if i was gonna stick with it or not. Haven't bothered replacing them and they are all doing a good job of my beer.

It's a very common question, as common as the whole aluminium vs stainless debate which still rages, but there seems to be lots of people debunking the alleged myth over lead problems and carcinogens (if any) from ally pots etc...

I'm not saying that there are no risks using brass or aluminium, but i'm not concerned about the miniscule amount of risk that is involved.
 

Truman42

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Nickle and brass plated NO...... Solid brass yes.

Nickle and Brass plated taps are generally steel underneath and will eventually rust (A brass plated fitting I used rusted within a few brews.)

However solid brass fittings are okay and dont rust.
 

JDW81

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Some of you might think this is a stupid question, but the only stupid question is the one you don't know the answer to and don't ask...

So on that note, whats the deal with Brass and Nickle Plated fittings.

From what I can tell everyone uses Stainless Steel, which yes is great, but also pricey

Brass and Nickle Plated stuff is so much cheaper, so what are the implication or using this cheaper metal for building brew gear?

Cheers

Look at it this way, most of the plumbing fittings in your house are brass and they wouldn't be used if there was a health issue (granted they are not being boiled). My coffee machine is solid brass that has the double whammy of heat and pressure. Brass is fine, i just use stainless cause I like shiny things (and I found some cheap fittings).
 

daemon

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Stainless is just the "easier" option overall and certainly one of the longest lasting. This is why it's used in the commercial world, they can throw a ton of cleaning chemicals at it like caustic soda without worries.

The only other thing to worry about with different metals is galvanic corrosion, which is why hot water heaters have a sacrificial anode. As long as you're using all brass it won't be a problem.
 

bowie in space

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I used one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts vinegar to clean the brass fittings in my manifold.
 

pk.sax

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Look at it this way, most of the plumbing fittings in your house are brass and they wouldn't be used if there was a health issue (granted they are not being boiled). My coffee machine is solid brass that has the double whammy of heat and pressure. Brass is fine, i just use stainless cause I like shiny things (and I found some cheap fittings).

Just be aware where you get your brass from though.

I've been told by a bunnings employee (a plumber) that the brass fitting from there are not potable water rated. In so far as until now, nobody has put forth anything to the contrary.

I do have one gripe with SS though. friggin hard to undo unless its wrapped in teflon tape and then still.... I want to get some lead-free brass fittings to stop my fixtures from 'cold-welding' or whatever its called. Use SS main things like valves, cheap enough to get if you look right and use brass connections.
 

kelbygreen

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I have brass hose fittings in my ball valves and on the end of my pump hoses makes it fast and easy to transfer wort without having heaps of lines and ball valves set up. I didnt soak mine as read some where to get affected by the lead you have to consume more then 1 full fitting and I am sure I will notice that in my glass when I drink it lol
 

alcoadam

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I'm getting on the stainless wagon. It is more expensive, but not as much as some think.

I noticed the big green shed doesn't carry any stainless gear but a quick comparison of their fittings to most brew shops....

If your after a Ball Valve tap - chrome/brass $9
stainless $20

Threaded rod for weldless kits - brass $7
stainless (slightly shorter) $10

I've looked at assembling a copper manifold in an esky with bits from bunnings but on my calculations could cost close to $50....on the other hand a $100 stainless bling "falsie" from beer belly would be far less hassle.

I do also like the fact that stainless will tolerate my cleaning chemicals and no special attention is needed. I will also sleep better (knowing nothing about metals) when the next person posts infomation that brass is producing negative effects on a hot wort....for me it's peace of mind.



And if your up to AG brewing, your probably taking your brewing quite seriously and wont decide to give it all up tomorrow, so you'll get your use out of it.
 

Yob

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can we rule out Galvanic corrosion?

That said I have a brass elbow into the HLT for my pump and a stainless barb.. the brass had a longer thread that I could fit a locknut and my pickup to... I felt lots of thread tape may help seperate the 2 metals and eliminate the concern..

and I could be completely wrong and there is nothing to worry about at all :unsure:

Yob
 

kelbygreen

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well you are right some metal on other metals will corrode but I am not sure what ones. Not sure if using thread tape would save this??? I think I seen some one with alloy that had it will copper?? SS should be fine with other metals but its the other metals that may be the worry
 

garyhead.design

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Thanks Guys

I'm thinking I'll probably go with the brass for now, might upgrade to SS down the track. Setting up for all grain is costly enough without splashing out on Stainless everything...

Cheers

Gary
 

HoppingMad

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I have brass taps on my mash tun and HLT. I have some zinc washers - main issue with them is corrosion. Brass is fine though.

Some people are concerned about the tiny amount of lead in brass but a quick soak in vinegar should put your mind at ease.

+1 John Palmer, US Author of 'How to Brew' is a homebrewer and metalurgist by trade, and he doesn't seem to take issue with brass - seems pretty accepting of the fact that people use it. Here's his tips on how to clean it, along with a caution if you scrub too hard you can expose lead. Cleaning Brass Section - How to Brew

Hopper

Edit - I should point out however that I have stainless throughout my system though!
 

Screwtop

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Thanks Guys

I'm thinking I'll probably go with the brass for now, might upgrade to SS down the track. Setting up for all grain is costly enough without splashing out on Stainless everything...

Cheers

Gary


Can say that again! After using brass for 6 years I began a SS upgrade 3 months ago. Have spent more on SS fittings than on the 4 vessel system so far. Can't remember things anymore, unsure if this is from alcohol, nearly dying from a heart attack or the lead in my beer :lol:

Anyway I have a truckload of brass fittings now, more than enough for a complete HERMS brewery inc snaplock connectors, someone who still has some remaining grey matter might get some use from them.

Screwy
 

Screwtop

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It's time to further the brass v stainless debate. Rather than begin a new thread I thought it might fit well enough here.
Sticking my neck out here........ But! has anyone noticed a difference in the flavour of their beers after switching from brass to stainless??

Never really prescribed to the brass is bad theory and happily used brass fittings for the past six years. Was looking more for the aesthetic appeal of stainless in switching from brass.

After tasting a difference in batches made using the all stainless system I sought some others opinions. Three others agreed that there was a difference (in a good way) between the new beers and previous batches. There was a 'sameness' in the beers made using brass, just as there was with the beers made using all stainless. But definitely a difference between those made using brass and those made using all stainless.
Interested in the findings of others who have made the switch also.

Screwy
 

kjparker

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It's time to further the brass v stainless debate. Rather than begin a new thread I thought it might fit well enough here.
Sticking my neck out here........ But! has anyone noticed a difference in the flavour of their beers after switching from brass to stainless??

Never really prescribed to the brass is bad theory and happily used brass fittings for the past six years. Was looking more for the aesthetic appeal of stainless in switching from brass.

After tasting a difference in batches made using the all stainless system I sought some others opinions. Three others agreed that there was a difference (in a good way) between the new beers and previous batches. There was a 'sameness' in the beers made using brass, just as there was with the beers made using all stainless. But definitely a difference between those made using brass and those made using all stainless.
Interested in the findings of others who have made the switch also.

Screwy
Interesting.

Was that the only change made? Eg, are you still using any copper you may have been using before etc?
 

Screwtop

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Interesting.

Was that the only change made? Eg, are you still using any copper you may have been using before etc?


Nope, same recipes, same equipment pump etc, only brass and copper fittings replaced with SS.

Screwy
 
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